It has become pretty common, expected even, to publicly declare your love in all caps and exclamation points. Love in this day and age seems to have to be over the top and crazy and loud. And there is nothing wrong with that. If we have accepted that people can love whoever they want, then they should also be able to love however they want.
I have always been drawn, though, to the quiet, unseen, and possibly thankless kind of love in “Lea”, a song by Buklod that I first heard while a college freshman more than a decade ago. I have listened to it many times since, but probably not as often as I did during my last relationship. Partly because I identified with it, and partly because YouTube made it possible for me to do so.
In it, the eponymous Lea is a fisherman’s wife who waits by the shore for her husband to come home each dawn. She has done it so often that she already knows the movements of the sea and the wind. So often that the waiting is part of the loving, the anticipation (and fear of being forever apart) is as real and as important as being together again.
“Wala mang katiyakan (ang) muling pagsasama/Natutunan na niyang mahalin ang pangamba/Natutunan na niyang mahalin ang paghihintay,” Noel Cabangon sings*.
And, in the end, it’s worth it: “Sa tuwing pagdating ng sinta, panglaw sa puso’y dagling naglalaho.” Or at least worth it enough for her to do it again the next night. It’s not a very exciting sort of love, I guess. Nor is it very complex. It’s sincere, though, and dependable, which are also fine things for a love to be.
*Years later, he sings about being a “Mabuting Pilipino.” Maybe he shouldn’t do that so much.